Iran Blames CIA, Makes Arrests in Nuke Scientist Slay
What’s one thing America, Britain and Israel’s spy services can all work together on? Killing Iranian nuclear scientists, if you believe Iranian intelligence. But in the murky world of violence in Iran, there’s more potential players — and less certainty — than the Mullahs’ spooks might suggest.
Iran’s intelligence minister Heidar Moslehi announced late yesterday that arrests had been made in the case of the two nuclear scientists, Majid Shahriari and Fereydoun Abbasi, who were attacked by mysterious bomb-wielding assailants earlier this week. The three spy agencies of Mossad, CIA and MI6 played a role in these attacks.” Moslehi said.
Moslehi also claimed that the U.S. has over 80 different agencies with a collective budget of $2 billion specifically dedicated to regime in Iran.
Of course, the idea of a trilateral U.S.-U.K.-Israeli assassination commission is more than a little far fetched. Israel and the U.S. differ on the use of force against Iran. And Iranian propaganda generally Iran blames the U.S., U.K. and Israel for most everything that goes wrong in the world, from its election unrest earlier this year to the Danish Mohammed cartoons and spying squirrels.
Israel’s not an entirely unreasonable suspect in the assassinations, though, and one that many outside Iran suspect. Israel has been suspected in assassinations that touch on Iranian interests in recent years, including the 2008 car bombing of Iranian-backed Hezbollah “mastermind” Imad Mughniyeh and the killing of Hamas leader and alleged Iranian arms-smuggler Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in a Dubai hotel in January.
But domestic dissident groups also haven’t been afraid to use violence against the Iranian regime. Jundullah, a Sunni terrorist group, recently claimed the kidnapping of what the group says is a scientist working for Iran’s Isfahan nuclear facility. But thus far, Jundullah has made no claim on the for the attacks against Shahriari and Abbasi.
Could Iran itself be a suspect? Some believe that the Iranian government killed the physicist Massoud Ali-Mohammed earlier this year. Under this scenario, Mohammed, who reportedly held anti-clerical views, was killed either as a message to potentially dissident scientists amidst Iran’s election unrest or because he had gotten too friendly with Israeli intelligence through a regional scientific training program he participated in.
This whodunnit isn’t likely to be solved anytime soon, though. For now, we’re caught between Iranian accusations and tangential precedents with nothing but speculation to fill in the void between.
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Saturday, February 19, 2011
Iran Blames CIA, Makes Arrests in Nuke Scientist Slay | Danger Room | Wired.com